Will County has now entered Phase 1B-Plus of its COVID vaccine rollout, the county's health department announced Tuesday.
Health officials said that between Tuesday and April 12, when the state is expected to make all residents 16 and older eligible, vaccine appointments can by those who currently qualifies under state guidelines.
"This would apply to those who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions, cancer, chronic kidney disease, heart conditions, sickle cell disease, active smokers, and those who are pregnant," the health department stated.
Those with disabilities not otherwise covered in previous categories are also eligible.
The county urged residents to register with the health department to keep updated on vaccine appointments and eligibility.
A list of participating pharmacies in Will County where 1B-Plus vaccination appointments can be made can be found here.
Illinois expanded COVID-19 vaccine access to another group of essential workers Monday, as the state inches closer to meeting President Joe Biden's goal of opening up eligibility to all resident by May 1.
Food and beverage workers, construction trade workers and religious leaders will be eligible, according to guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
On Monday, March 22, the state expanded eligibility to include higher education staff, government workers and media.
Here's a look at the full schedule of vaccine eligibility:
|December 15, 2020||Healthcare workers and long-term care facility staff and residents|
|January 25, 2021||Frontline essential workers (including first responders, K-12 teachers and other public-facing industries) and residents age 65 and up|
|February 25, 2021||Residents with high-risk conditions or disabilities, age 16 and up|
|March 22, 2021||Higher education staff, government workers, and media|
|March 29, 2021||Restaurant staff, construction trade workers, and religious leaders|
|April 12, 2021||Any resident age 16 and up|
On Friday, IDPH authorized counties seeing low vaccine demand to to begin vaccinating all residents 16 and older at their discretion in order to "address a concerning possible trend in increasing COVID hospitalizations and case rates."
Illinois has seen 10 days of increases in the seven-day rolling average for hospital admissions since March 8, health officials said, and the COVID-19 test positivity was 3.3% as of Friday - up from 2.5% on March 10.
Chicago, which similarly reported an alarming rise in COVID metrics, will open up vaccinations to residents with underlying health conditions and an additional group of essential workers Monday.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker previously announced that all Illinois residents over the age of 16 will be eligible for the COVID vaccine starting April 12.
All vaccinations will remain by appointment only, officials said, noting that "making an appointment to receive a shot may take time."
For a complete look at where and how you can make an appointment in Illinois or where you can receive vaccine information for your area, click here.
Pritzker previously said he felt "confident" in vaccine supply moving forward and that he believed the state could advance ahead of that deadline.
Illinois entered what's called Phase 1B Plus of its vaccine rollout plan late last month, expanding eligibility to individuals with certain high-risk medical conditions and comorbidities. That's in addition to the already-eligible health care workers and long-term care facility staff and residents who qualified in Phase 1A, plus the frontline essential workers as well as residents age 65 and older who became eligible in the earlier iteration of Phase 1B.
For a full look at who's eligible to get vaccinated in Phase 1B Plus, click here.